Rusty Walker has spent her entire life trying to earn her
tough, ranching father's respect and approval by learning
the business inside and out. But now her uncompromising
parent has decreed she must marry if she wants to inherit.
Worse, her husband has to be someone who can help her run
the business. As if she needs it!
Williams Hill kissed Rusty in a bar in an act of temporary
insanity, and lost his heart to her on the spot. Despite the
complications to his own rodeo stock business, he agrees to
marry the feisty red-head, hoping to woo her once they're
hitched. But she only views him with suspicion and resentment.
Can this soft-spoken Texas cowboy convince his proud wife,
who's never known unconditional love, that she is everything
Rusty caught a whiff of cigarette smoke hanging around the
man who'd taken the stool beside her. She didn't bother to
look over, keeping her eyes on her drink hoping he'd get the
hint and go away.
No such luck.
He leaned forward and raised his voice. "Hey there, red."
She turned her head and could now see he was swaying
slightly. He gave a slow blink, trying to focus, obviously
drunk. Great. She didn't acknowledge the guy in any other
way, but apparently looking at him was enough encouragement.
She held up her glass. "I'm good. Thanks."
"My treat when you're done with that."
"I'm leaving when I'm done with this." Maybe sooner at this
He reached out and tugged on her arm. "Now don't be like that."
Rusty sighed. "I'm not interested." She couldn't be clearer
The guy, who was good-looking enough—tall, blond, strong
chin, and nice eyes—bristled visibly.
He straightened his back as his eyebrows lowered. "All I did
was offer to buy you a drink."
She turned back to the one she already had. "Thanks, but no
"Move along." She waved a hand as though shooing a fly.
He stood suddenly, his stool scraping along the wooden floor
with a screech of protest loud enough to be heard over the
music and chatter. In the mirror, several heads turned in
their direction. Travis and Dave stood up, ready to
intervene, but before they could do anything, and even
before the jerk could say anything else, let alone touch
her, a large hand landed on her shoulder and spun her around
in her seat.
"Sorry I'm late, baby," the newcomer murmured.
Rusty only had time to register the new player in the scene
was that Will guy with the blue, blue eyes before he leaned
forward and kissed her.
She gave a little squeak of protest and he released her lips
immediately. The sudden absence of warmth left her feeling
slightly bereft, which was crazy since he'd barley brushed
his lips across hers.
Before she could process what just happened, he leaned
forward and whispered in her ear, "Follow along and we'll
get rid of this guy."
Realizing he was now standing between her legs, she hid the
shiver sliding down her spine by giving him a tiny nod. He
pulled back and smiled down into her eyes. The blue of his
eyes, up close like this, was nothing short of startling.
The irises were rimmed in black which somehow made the blue
even bluer. She could drown in those depths, like falling
into the sky, or the deepest of oceans. She had the
strangest urge to trace the cleft in his chin.
"Miss me?" he asked, loud enough for the ass on the other
stool to hear.
"Of course," she purred.
Some small part of her brain registered that wasn't exactly
a lie. She'd spent a ridiculous amount of time thinking
about him given their two extremely brief shared moments.
They hadn't even been properly introduced or exchanged more
than a handful of words.
"Me too," he said as he lowered his lips to hers again.
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Hills of Texas
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